Aging in Place
We want to remain in our home indefinitely. This is commonly called “aging in place”. As we envision making this dream a reality, we may think of remodeling our home by updating the bathroom for accessibility or moving a bedroom to the main floor. While all of these changes can help us remain in the home, additional factors outside the home may influence our ability to age in place.
Aging in place extends beyond the home to include the larger community. “Age-friendly” communities are friendly for all ages. These communities are designed for the needs of all members. The worldwide “age-friendly” movement was initiated to make physical structures and social environments more accessible to people of all ability levels. SDSU Extension Gerontology Specialists have compiled resources to assist us in moving toward more age-friendly communities.
Rural communities face unique challenges. In 2006 representatives from Canadian provinces published Age-Friendly Rural and Remote Communities: A Guide (50 pages). This document remains one of the only resources for age-friendly rural communities.
Let’s not become frustrated if our state doesn’t have (or may never have) some of these characteristics. Consider how we might adapt the ideas to suit South Dakota. SDSU Extension Gerontology Specialists are familiar with the unique strengths and challenges in our state, and we would like to become familiar with the strengths and challenges in YOUR community. Please contact us with questions.
SDSU Extension Resources
- We created some quick tips for designing printed or online materials that most people can read: Design Matters: What is presbyopia? and Does Color Impact Readability?.
- We have some great resources for business owners: Workforce Shortages: Beyond the retirement crisis and Business Owner Resources.
- Population Aging is a great source to learn more about aging in our communities.
- Driving and Aging is a hot topic.
- Checklist of Essential Features of Age-Friendly Cities
- Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide
- Livable Communities: An Evaluation Guide
- Planning for the Whole Community
- Healthy Community Design Checklist